Hear an mp3 recording of this poem, performed
by Master Cynric of Bedwyn
Red Orm and Sigmund and Ivar and me
We were over at Olaf's as drunk as could be.
We were laughing and singing while downing our mead
When Olaf fell over face down in his feed.
"Oh, let's play a joke on old Olaf," Orm said.
And we all started laughing and nodding our heads.
"Now we just have to think of a joke that is grand,
One that does honor our slumbering friend,
For he ever is asking us over to dine
So the joke that we play must be funny and fine."
"I have it!" said Ivar, "let's drag him outdoors,
Set fire to his haystack and wait till it roars,
Then holler and scream till he wakes with alarm
And tell him some reavers are burning his farm."
Oh, we laughed till the tears rolled out of our eyes
Then we grabbed sleeping Olaf and drug him outside.
With torches we staggered to the great mound of hay
Then I thought of a funnier joke we could play.
"Let's pile this great stack by his door so it seems
That his house is afire from the floor to the beams."
Oh, laughing we stumbled with arms full of hay
Anxious to hear what old Olaf would say.
But we were puffing and panting from six loads apiece
Then Sigmund, he held up his hand so we'd cease.
And we listened with care as we set our loads down.
He said, "Let's burn Olaf's house down to the ground."
Then he puffed up his chest and continued with pride,
"And let's do it with Olaf still sleeping inside."
Oh, we rolled on the ground at the thought of that joke
We were laughing so hard that we started to choke.
Then we drug sleeping Olaf (still snoring) inside.
We tossed him in bed and made sure he was tied.
Then we picked up our gear and the horns and the mead
And then we began this most humorous deed.
We closed tight the door and jammed shut the latch,
We picked up the torches and fired up the thatch,
Then we ran to the hill for a view of the sight
Of old Olaf's house all aglow in the night.
That hall was a malestrom that burned ever higher,
Then we shouted, "Hey Olaf! Your house is on fire."
And we heard him to bellow out curses, but then,
I think he did laugh when the timbers caved in.
Then we knew that no matter how hard we would seek
T'was the best joke we've played on old Olaf all week.